A historian Gordon S. Wood observes at the outset of his essay, George Washington “no longer seems to be first in the hearts of his countrymen” or even first among historians. Mr. Wood then goes on to present a convincing case for Washington being “truly a great man and the greatest president we ever had.” He originally made his case at the White House itself, where his lecture (in slightly different form) was delivered before an audience including President and Mrs. George Bush on Monday, Oct.7, 1991, as part of the Presidential Lecture Series on the Presidency.
Mr. Wood has been a member of the faculty at Brown University since 1969. He is a former chairman of the history department there and has held the rank of University Professor since 1990. A native of Concord, Mass., he graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University, later served in the U.S. Air Force, and then completed his M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard University. Mr. Wood has been Pitt Professor of American institutions at Cambridge University and a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He is the author of The Creation of the American Republic 1776—1787, winner of the Bancroft Prize and the American Historical Association’s John H. Dunning Prize. His latest book, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, published by Knopf earlier this year, was a major selection of the History Book Club.
An authority on Michelangelo and the Italian Renaissance, Paul Barolsky is a professor of art history in the Mclntire Department of Art at the University of Virginia. He recently published Giotto’s Father (Penn State). This work completes a trilogy on Renaissance art and ideas, which includes Why Mono Lisa Smiles (1991) and Michelangelo’s Nose (1990).
Paula K. Cover received her M. F. A. in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, where she was awarded the Avery Hopwood Award for Major Poetry in 1986, and the Academy of American Poets Award in 1987. As an undergraduate, Ms. Cover received first prize and publication in the Ms. Magazine college fiction competition for her short story, “Bastard Child.” At present, she continues to write both poetry and fiction, which she describes as “a sometimes dangerously dichotomous state of existence.” She teaches at Ferris State University in Michigan.
A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, the Right Reverend John S. Spong attended the Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained a minister in 1955. He held ministries in Tarboro, North Carolina, and Lynchburg, Virginia, before becoming the rector of St. Paul’s Church in Richmond in 1969. St. Paul’s was a church attended by Robert E. Lee during the Civil War, and, before Mr. Spong’s arrival, the church annually flew the Confederate Flag outside its entrance on Grace Street directly opposite the State Capitol. Mr. Spong ended that custom, obtaining a compromise under which the flag was henceforth to be draped over General Lee’s pew. He was appointed the Anglican bishop of Newark, New Jersey in 1976. A prolific author, his books include Honest Prayer, This Hebrew Lord, The Living Commandments, and The Changing Shape of the Church. But that changing shape does not include, in Mr. Spong’s judgment, a Roman Catholic-Anglican ecumenical union.
An associate professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Edward Falco is the author of a novel, Winter in Florida, published by Soho Press in 1990 and of a collection of short stories, Plato at Scratch Daniel’s, also published in 1990 by Arkansas. The title story of the short story collection was first published in VQR and later awarded the Emily Clark Balch Prize. Mr. Falco continues to publish poems, prose poems, and short stories widely with work forthcoming in The Southern Review and Black Warrior Review as well as several other journals.
Walter Harding, Distinguished Professor of American Literature Emeritus at SUNY, Geneseo, NY, has just retired after 50 years as Secretary of the Thoreau Society. He nonetheless continues his search for Thoreau and is at the present updating his edition of the Variorum Walden. Mr. Harding is also author of a biography entitled The Days of Henry Thoreau published by Princeton in 1982.
Thomas Lux is a member of the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and participates in the Warren Wilson Program for Writers in North Carolina. His most recent collection is The Drowned River published by Houghton Mifflin last year.
Albert Goldbarth is Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Wichita State University. His most recent collection, Heaven and Earth, published last year by Georgia, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry.
Kenneth Rosen is a professor of English at the University of Maine and is a visiting poet this year in the Syracuse University M.F.A. program.
David Lehman is author of Signs of the Times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul De Man (Poseidon Press/Simon & Schuster) which was reviewed by Robert Zaretsky in the autumn 1991 VQR. Mr. Lehman is also the author of Operation Memory, a collection of poems published by Princeton.
Russell Bahorsky is a native of Richmond, Virginia, where his poem is set. He is in the graduate school at Arizona State University and has published poems in Hayden’s Ferry Review.
A frequent VQR contributor, W. D. Ehrhart’s recent contributions include an essay about his return to Vietnam, where he served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and an essay review about Gloria Emerson’s recent book on her experiences in Gaza. He is also the author of a poetry collection, Just for Lawghs, and a collection of essays, In the Shadow of Vietnam.
Mark Halliday’s most recent collection of poems was awarded the Juniper Prize and will be published by Massachusetts. He lives and teaches in Philadelphia.
Peter Makuck’s essay on Fred Chappell’s “Continuities” is part of a collection entitled The World between the Eyes: On the Poetry of Fred Chappell which will be published by Ford-Brown & Company as part of their American Poets in Profile Series this fall. Mr. Makuck’s own most recent book of poems was published in 1990 under the title The Sunken Lightship by BOA Editions, Ltd. A professor of English at East Carolina University in Greenville, Mr. Makuck also edits Tar River Poetry.
Professor of French at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, Frances Stokes Hoekstra has been writing poetry and short stories for some years. Her stories have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Winter Nights, and her first VQR story, “One-Eyed Jacks,” appeared in VQR Winter 1991.
A native of Budapest, Arthur A. Bardos is the son of another Arthur Bardos still remembered in the Hungarian capital as a writer, poet, and stage director. The younger Bardos came to the U.S. just as the Second World War began to study cinematography at the University of Southern California. He was with the U.S. Army in Europe during WW II. After the war, Mr. Bardos entered the U.S. Foreign Service. He served in Vienna, Casablanca, Paris, Saigon, Brussels, Bonn, and Ankara before retiring in 1986.
Bruce Fleming is a member of the department of English at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He is the author of Art, Artifact, and the Innocent Eye: An Essay in Post-Romantic Literary Theory published last year by Mellon Press.
David T. Gies will reassume the chairmanship of the department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese at the University of Virginia this September. Among his numerous publications are Agustin Duran (1975), Nicolas Fernandez de Moratin (1979), Theatre and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Spain (1988).
Robert Mason is well qualified to discuss race relations in 20th-century Norfolk. It is the city where he spent nearly three decades as Sunday editor, managing editor, and editor of The Virginian Pilot.
An authority on 19th-century French literature, Armine Kotin Mortimer is a professor in the department of French at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Harold McSween served in Congress as a Democratic representative from Louisiana during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. He has published essays, poetry, and fiction in journals such as Sewanee Review, Southern Review, and Mississippi Quarterly.
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